Browse any pet catalog or website, and you’ll find a whole host of different kinds of cat furniture. From a simple scratching post and platform to a more elaborate ‘cat tree’, or cat shelves there are options for all sizes of home, and budgets. Our favorite, simply because anyone can make space for it, is the Petfusion Ultimate Cat Scratcher.
But will these products actually get used? Are they worth giving up valuable space to in your home? Should you invest in something subtle, or go the whole hog and install a circuit of furniture for your cat? In this article, we’re going to look at why cat’s benefit from furniture and explain the pros and cons of each type so you can make a decision for yourself.
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Why Buy Cat Furniture
When we think about cat behavior, we need to understand how they behaved before they were domesticated. Most breeds of domestic cat are descended from the African Wild Cat. Wild Cats are solitary animals, and quite territorial. They’re not just great hunters, but they are also prey to some of the larger animals, so it’s important to them that they can survey their space and make sure there isn’t a predator nearby.
Although domestic cats don’t need to worry too much about predators, they do still have this need to view their space. Cat furniture gives them increased vertical space, the ability to climb to a height without knocking things off shelves or putting holes in the curtains!
Here are some specific reasons why you might need to consider cat furniture:
- You have an indoor cat. Cats like to sit and watch the world go by, but if they’re stuck indoors all day, they don’t get that opportunity. That can lead to them causing mischief in the home. Putting a perch for them with a view out of the window is like giving them access to Cat TV. They will happily sit and watch birds, people and anything else that is going on outside and will have a lot of their needs met by that.
- If you have an insecure cat, then having a bolthole to run to will help with their confidence. A nice high spot with an enclosed space, like a cat bed, can provide them with a sense of control and enable them to take more risks, knowing they can always run to safety.
- Cat furniture can also help establish and maintain the pecking order in multi-cat households. Because they offer multi-level space, they let cats who wouldn’t ordinarily want to be near each other get closer. Top Cat can hang out on the highest platform, making sure the others know their place.
Cats have different needs to humans, so while they may happily snuggle up on a low-lying piece of furniture if that’s all there is? They’ll be much more settled if they have a vantage point, they can truly call their own.
Types of Cat Furniture
Broadly speaking there are four different types of cat furniture; perches, scratching posts, cat trees, and cat shelves. There are also a few items which span these different categories. We’ll give you a better understanding of each, so you can decide which is best for your home.
As we said, cats like to get up high, so they have a better view of their territory. A perch is a small piece of furniture that you can place by a window or on a wall that gives your cat somewhere to, well, perch. The benefit of a cat perch is that it is a smaller piece of furniture, and that means a smaller financial investment and less space taken up in your home.
|Ultimate Cat Perch
There are quite a few perches with similar designs available, however, most have wires which connect above the perch. They have a tendency to fall down when a cat gets on them, or worse your pet could get tangled in the wires.
This design gets around that problem by supporting the platform with plastic struts, attached to the window with suckers. It can hold up to 80lbs in weight.
|KAMYs Zoo Window Mountain Perch Bed
This perch doesn’t just give your cat somewhere comfortable to hang out while they enjoy the view outside the window, it also provides a bolt hole.
Made from felt, it gives your fur baby somewhere safe and warm to disappear to, when they need to take a little time out and just tune in to Cat TV.
|Deluxe Kitty Window Perch
Extend your windowsill and make it a cozy spot for your cat with this window perch. Using a combination of Velcro and brackets, you can create a secure perch for your cat to rest on.
The cushion is covered in warm, fleecy fabric and can be removed for washing when necessary.
Do you have a cat that likes to scratch at your wallpaper or furniture? Cats do this for several reasons; it helps them shed the dead layers of their claws, it’s a workout for their spines, to give themselves a good stretch, it’s part of their territory marking, leaving their scent and mark behind and it helps them work off their excess energy. In the case of my oldest cat, it’s also a method of communication, she scratches near my bedroom door when she wants me to get up and feed her!
Rather than spend time and money trying to stop your cat from scratching in inappropriate places, give them the opportunity to do it by installing a scratching post.
|The Ultimate Cat Scratching Post
This is what most people think of when you mention a scratching post. The post is covered in sisal, a substance that cats naturally want to scratch so it will encourage them to use the post rather than your couch.
This model is 32” tall, which enables even a long cat to have a good scratch. The wide base means the chances of it toppling over are minimized.
|Petfusion Ultimate Cat Scratcher
Cats really love this type of scratcher, which is made from recycled cardboard. Just sprinkle over the dried catnip (included) and your fur baby will have a new favorite place.
Whether it’s having a stretch or lounging in style, this is a versatile solution that is environmentally friendly, too.
|4Paws Vertical Cat Scratcher
If your cat, like mine, has a certain spot that they like to scratch at then this might be a great solution for you. It’s a wall mounted, recycled cardboard scratching pad.
It comes with the fixings you need to attach it to the wall, and has a good height to ensure that kitty can have a good stretch.
If you have a little more floor space available, then a cat tree is definitely worth considering. They usually incorporate several different features, multi-level platforms, hidey holes, and scratch posts or toys.
They come in a range of sizes, to fit any home and with matching budgets. Whether it’s a minimalist look or a faux forest, you can get a hold of one!
|AmazonBasics Cat Tree
This model incorporates all the classic cat tree elements. A ladder to a private sleeping space, two platforms, scratching posts and dangling toys to encourage play.
Site this near a window, and your cat or cats will enjoy hanging out, playing and watching the world go by.
|Cat Haven Cat Condo
Made from wood, carpet, and artificial leaves if you want to give your cat the experience of being outdoors from the safety of inside, this is the cat tree for you!
Your pet can scratch, climb and rest among the leaves feeling safe and secure. Arriving in pieces, this cat condo is easily put together in about 15 minutes.
|Trixie Pet Products
Made especially for kittens and smaller breeds of cat, this is the perfect castle for your Prince or Princess.
There are three separate perching/hiding areas, and internal tunnels to explore. There’s also a sisal covered post for scratching and fluffy balls to bat around. Kitty heaven!
The best viewpoint in any room is the highest point, so you can assume that’s where your cat would rather be. Look at the high spots in your home, I bet they’re mostly used to store things so there’s no space for your cat to perch.
Installing cat shelves helps your cat get up to the top of the room, by means of a series of ledges. Like little shelves, they can give your cat a playground in a part of the room that you don’t normally use.
|Catastrophic Creations Deluxe Playspace Hammocks
Access to the higher platforms comes via a ladder and a quick pop through a sisal lined hole. Once up, your cat can explore or just settle down for a sleep in one of the canvas hammocks.
This is a great option for dog owners, who need a bolt hole for their cat, and because it’s wall-mounted it doesn’t take up valuable floor space.
|RayCC Cat Shelves
This set of three shelves is easy to install with just a few screws securing them to a wall. They’re the perfect size for a ‘cat cloud’ where your fur baby can snooze or just watch the world go by.
|Trixie Products Wall Mounted Cat Shelf
This is a deluxe set of cat shelves, covered in sisal and plush fabric. There are two steps, a cat condo accessed via a hole and a hammock-style perch.
A great way for your cat to up and out of the way, and to know they are the master of all they survey!
How to Encourage Your Cat to Use Their Furniture
Cats can be a lot like children, in that you buy them an expensive toy but they’d rather just sit in the box. While curiosity is a common feature for cats, and they will get around to looking at the new addition eventually, if they’ve never seen one before it may take them a while to figure it out.
You can encourage your cat to explore using powdered catnip. Sprinkle it liberally around the furniture, if your cat responds well to it. If they’re more likely to be led by their stomach, then a healthy treat hidden in the space somewhere will encourage them to use it. Keep this up until your cat seems to have adopted their new home!
Cats Need Space
If you’ve ever watched an episode of My Cat from Hell with Jackson Galaxy, you’ll know that installing some cat furniture can really transform the behavior of a grumpy cat. Letting your independent furry friend have some space to call their own makes them feel more secure, and that leads to a happier, healthier pet.
And don’t worry, they will still come to you for love and affection, in fact, they may want even more of it once they feel more secure in their home environment. So, take stock of what free space you have, and install something like the Petfusion Ultimate Cat Scratcher today.